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Musical Pairings: Ratatat – Ratatat (paired w/ Kasey's signature salad)

Today on eating/sf, Kasey is sharing the recipe for her “go-to” salad. It’s a versatile, flexible recipe that relies on a few simple basics and is accented by whatever fresh, tasty ingredients she has on hand. So for my Musical Pairing, I wanted to pick one of my “go-to” records, an album by a band that is focused on a few basic building blocks, but that features a similar flexibility. This record is the debut album by NYC-based duo Ratatat. Ratatat consists of guitarist Mike Stroud and bassist/synth/producer Evan Mast. Their eponymous debut album is a stunning, rhythm-based instrumental collection that bridges the distance between hip hop and traditional rock n’ roll.

The album opens with “17 Years” – a track that features a spoken sample (said samples are the only vocals on the entire album) by NYC rapper Young Churf boasting that after 17 years, he doesn’t write his raps anymore – he just kicks it from his head. It’s a fitting sample to open the album, for a number of reasons. Specifically, Ratatat’s bass/guitar/synth based tracks are hip hop-influenced (and thus it makes sense to kick off with a quote from an MC) power rock songs that strut freely outside of traditional song structures (like freestyle). Musically, the album centers on powerful, glitchy, stuttering rhythms and epic, flowing power chords and synth-based melodies. It’s a powerful, warm combination. A sorta of musical yin and yang that combines some of the best elements of rock n’ roll with some of the best elements of hip hop. It’s an album that you can really feel. Get it at Insound.

Ratatat – Seventeen Years
Missy Elliot – Hot (Ratatat Remix)

Head back to eating/sf to read the recipe for Kasey’s signature salad.

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Posted by Matthew Hickey

Matthew is the music editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. He’s addicted to vinyl records, pour over coffee, craft beer, small batch bourbon, and pan roasting pork chops.

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